Sunday, January 15, 2017

9 Ways To Stay In Touch With Long-Distance Friends

One of my favrourite link lists is Swiss Miss' Friday link pack. Swissmiss is a design blog run by Swiss, long-term New York resident Tina Roth Eisenberg. She and her team are full of creative and out-of-the-ordinary ideas.

This video made me smile this morning, although No.9 might be taking it a little far.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Old World language families revisited

When linguists talk about the historical relationship between languages, they use a tree metaphor. An ancient source (for example Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, North Germanic), which feed into specific languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian).

Lessons on language families are often illustrated with a simple tree diagram that has all the information but lacks imagination. There’s no reason linguistics has to be so visually uninspiring.

Minna Sundberg, creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent, a story set in a lushly imagined post-apocalyptic Nordic world, has drawn the antidote to the boring linguistic tree diagram.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

3 fun food facts about Switzerland

Switzerland is a mountainous country, a small, rugged island in the center of the European Union, known for its irresistible chocolate and breathtaking beauty. Here are some fun, quirky foodie tidbits about cheese, wine and chocolate.

1. Cheese Please!
Switzerland is home to 450 varieties of cheese, ranging from extra hard to soft, with crazy-hard-to-pronounce names like Sbrinz, Mutschli, Formaggini, and Tomme Vaudoise.
The Swiss even have proof of how fantastic their cheese is: out of 2,615 products entered from 22 countries in 89 categories, the Swiss took the first prize in 2014 at the World Championship Cheese Contest. The US have claimed this title in 2016. Who will be champion in 2018?

2. Swiss Drink Their Own Wine
Did you know that only about 2% of Switzerland's wine leaves the country. The Swiss produce approx. 200 million liters of wine per year and consume almost all of it themselves. Since it never goes too far, you can always count on a good homegrown drink and good company. In 2014, the average Swiss drank 33 litres of wine which puts the Swiss at 4th place worldwide for annual wine consumption per capita.

3. Swiss Love their Chocolate
Switzerland is internationally known for its high quality chocolate. But do you know just how much chocolate is made here? Between 18 Swiss chocolate companies, 181,414 tons of chocolate were produced in 2015. Roughly one third is domestic consumption thanks to the Swiss who eat over 10kg of chocolate per capita. Two thirds of the Swiss chocolate production is destined for export.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Meet the Swiss Federal Council 2017

The release of the Swiss Federal Council's official photo for 2017 on New Year’s Eve caused quite a stir in the media, even becoming a trending topic on twitter. Creative minds were quick to publish inventive versions of the original portraits taken by photographer Beat Mumenthaler.

The original version

An adapted "nice" version

The Swiss government comprises seven members to form the Federal Council. The president is elected for a one-year term of office and is regarded during that time as ‘Primus inter pares’, or first among equals.

The Swiss Government has revamped its official website where you can find information about the Swiss Government and a restricted amount of news in English. Personally, I do think this year's photo is a great deal more stylish than in past years. So let's look at the bright side, the Swiss Federal Council are definitely making an effort.

Someone decided to adapt the official photo into a video showing the Federal Council singing ‘Bernhemian Rhapsody’. See the result for yourself:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

To start off 2017 with a giggle...

Who knew Ireland has a vibrant animation industry? Thankfully comedy plays a big part. Grintage was launched in 2015 to develop and celebrate the best of Irish comedy. It’s a work in progress as these Irish Youtubers continue to grow and gain support from the wider comedy community and industry.

The video dates a few months back but I thought you might to like a giggle to start off the new year.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year's Resolutions 2017

Time for New Year's Resolutions... Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Why not find a unique New Year’s resolution that can actually transform your life? And, maybe you’ll even have a chance of sticking to it? Something that is more interesting will naturally keep your interest.

So, here are a few unique New Year’s Resolutions that you chould try. Pick one, two, three, or all four.

A Daily Act of Kindness
One of the best new year resolution ideas is to resolve to make at least one person’s life better each day. It can be as simple as buying someone’s coffee in line behind you to donating something to the local food bank. These happen a lot during the holidays, but not much afterwards.

Learn Something New
Can you design a web page? Want to play the guitar? Wish you could be an author? Always hoped to speak Italian? We all have things skills we wished we had or things we’ve always wanted to learn. The coming of the new year should remind you that you aren’t getting any younger. Resolve to actually learn a new skill or develop a talent. Be specific about what you want to learn and write down concrete steps to achieve it. For example, if you want to write a book, research the publishing process and maybe take a class on writing.

Get Involved In A Charity
Was your old year primarily focused on yourself? There’s nothing wrong with making yourself happy. However, selfish people rarely live meaningful and truly happy lives. That’s why, if you’re not already involved in charitable work, it could be a unique year’s resolution.
If you’re unsure what to choose, find what you care about. Maybe it’s mental illness, the homeless, animals, or another topic. Whatever it is, find a reputable charity and donate your time and energy to making a difference. You’ll help others and feel better yourself.

Make time for your physical health first
You spend many hours at the office or running around for others and there’s so much on your plate that you can’t even think about taking care of yourself? That needs to stop! No matter how busy your schedule gets or how much you want to accomplish in this world, you have to make time for your own physical health first. Eat healthier meals (and eat regularly), get enough sleep every night and exercise at least a few times a week. Keeping yourself in better physical shape will keep you in better mental shape.

Which resolution will yours be in 2017?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

My Parisian blog hit the top 50!

What a way to finish the year?

Waking up this morning reaching for my phone, a little notification is telling me my French blog has been mentioned. Curious I tap the link and to my surprise I find my blog listed amongst the top 60 Parisian blogs published by who choose the best ones from thousands of top Paris blogs using search and social metrics.

These blogs and websites are ranked based on following criteria:
- Google reputation and Google search ranking
- Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
- Quality and consistency of posts
- Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

It is the most comprehensive list of best Paris blogs on the internet. I am totally chuffed. I still have not quite come around to calling myself a blogger despite my many published posts and constant viewers' increase over the years. I am still convinced that only my friends follow me but I guess my Parisian adventures are being read by many more given that this is the second time I made into a top Parisian blogger list this year. Paris is after all the biggest blogger community outside of the US.

Expat with Kids in Paris grew out of my first blog Expat with Kids that came to life in 2010 when we were still living in Lugano. I have continued to feed my Swiss blog as a way of staying attached to my home country. I could not bring myself to just drop all my followers and readers. Expat with Kids in Paris began in 2011 as a fun way to account for my daily adventures with the Parisians and the French lifestyle.

Thank you to every single one of you who have enjoyed having Expat with Kids and Expats with Kids in Paris on your daily feed via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Mille mercis to for listing me in the Top 60 Paris Blogs and Websites for 2016 and Bonne Année 2017 à vous tous!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Panettone Pudding recipe

Panettone is a typical gift you receive during Christmas festivites from acquaintances, neighbors, associates or colleagues. You therefore end up with at least 4 or 5 boxes of Panettone. You can either freeze it or else below you'll find a posh version of bread and butter pudding, rich with cream and sugar - great for using up any excess Christmas panettone to dish up for tea or supper.

Cinnamon syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Bread pudding:
1 loaf panettone bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups sugar

To make the syrup:
1.) Combine 1 cup of water and brown sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
2.) Boil until the syrup reduces to 1 cup, about 10 minutes.
3.) Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and cinnamon.
4.) Keep the syrup warm. (The syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Re-warm before serving.)

To make the bread pudding:
1.) Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.
2.) Arrange the bread cubes in prepared dish.
3.) In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to blend.
4.) Pour the custard over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes gently to submerge.
5.) Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
6.) Preheat the oven to 180°C.
7.) Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.
8.) Spoon the bread pudding into bowls, drizzle with the warm Cinnamon Syrup, and serve. Yummy!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Holidays

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